Climate change debate should be about much more than temperature change

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The science-deniers are routinely commenting about climate change with observations about temperature. And too often it sinks the overall discussion into nothing more than a comparison of temperature over particular eras.

The deniers really don’t want the debate to slip beyond this level – into the impacts of climate change and even more importantly, the deeper overall impacts of human activity.

While the specific temperature trends are certainly an important factor, too much is made in the media and within debates about temperature ONLY.

The keys are actually the impacts of the temperatures and the pollution/emissions being poured into our air, water and land.
The oceans are being impacted to an extreme level by human activity – trash, overfishing, pollution and more.
While the US is doing better in some respects with air pollution, some regions of the globe are still horrible – as in China.
The Appalachian Mountains are being destroyed by mining operations – with entire ranges blown up. The material is dumped into mountain streams.

Deforestation is a huge tragedy. Animal species moving into extinction at a rapid pace is a huge tragedy.

It is an indisputable FACT that human activity is impacting the planet. Those wishing to firmly place their head in the sand and ignore the facts will never change the facts.

Denying that something that is undeniably happening isn’t happening isn’t a logical position. It is nothing more than a child putting his fingers into his ears while crying out, “La, la, la, la ….”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Report: Pope to speak out with concerns about climate change

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I am not Catholic and I don’t agree with everything Pope Francis has stated over his stint as the church’s leader. But on so many issues, he is making tremendous strides for people everywhere.

I really like this Pope.

Now, reports indicate he will be speaking out about the dangers of climate change. People of all religions should be concerned with what is happening to the planet. Those who believe God created the Earth – in whatever form their religion places God – should be very concerned with the level of pollution being dumped into the air, water and ground.

Selling our environment off to Big Oil, Big Gas and other polluting corporations, to support greed, is far from the teachings of any true religion I’ve ever heard about. I think the Pope understands that Jesus would be horrified to the degree to which greed is damaging our planet – the creation.

Denying the impact of greed only supports the greed. So thanks Pope Francis. Please continue to speak out for those in need and for the planet.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Predictions that environmental rules would devastate coal plant were completely wrong

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When it was announced three years ago that a coal-fire power plant in Pennsylvania would have to reduce its output of pollution into the air, the anti-environment crowd and operators of the plant cried that there would be horrible consequences.

None of it happened; the predictions were wrong and now we have more proof that environmental regulations can protect us, without shutting down local economies or the national economy.

Sure, there are upfront costs. But then again, in many cases we’re talking about companies that pay CEO’s massive salaries each year. A report just came out noting the median CEO pay in the US has topped $10 million per year. (Note that is the MEDIAN annual paycheck.)

It’s like Donald Sterling, who is crying about the millions he will have to pay in capital gains tax if he sells the LA Clippers – for over a billion dollars – some reports suggest $2 billion.

Boo hoo hoo. Cry me an ocean. Poor little fella. He might ONLY profit in the hundreds of millions of dollars or maybe exceeding a billion. These people are so far removed from the rest of the population, they must have nose bleeds while looking over their portfolios, bank accounts and stock holdings.

So in getting back to the coal-fired plant, the Associated Press reports

GE Energy Financial Services, the plant’s majority owner, now says it can do it — and without electricity bills increasing for the two million households it provides with power.

And guess what. People are being employed to make the upgrades.

The article does note another company filed for bankruptcy this year, when faced with having to put in place protections for the local environment. But we don’t know the underlying details about this case.

If the Pennsylvania plant can do it, why not others. That facility will invest $750 million in protecting the people. The article explains how important the move is:

Last year, the facility, released 114,245 tons of sulfur dioxide, more than all of the power plants in neighboring New York combined.

Suggesting a company’s profits are more important than protecting the lives of citizens is more than clueless and wacky. We’ve known about the devastating impacts of pollution on our air, water and ground for decades. Companies should have been spreading out their investments in protecting the public for decades. Then, the financial impacts would not have been so large in one chunk.

But instead, too many industries have poured untold millions each year into campaign donations to elect anti-environment candidates. That money could have been used to protect the environment. It’s a really moronic way to go about polluting and putting the public health at risk.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Mentality Quote of the Day

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A member of the Washington State House of Representatives reportedly has stated bicyclists create more pollution than motorists. Yes, this appears to be a true story. But I hope it is not.

A article reports State Rep. Ed Orcutt tried to tie a bicyclist’s increased rate of respiration with increased pollution. When contacted by a blogger about the comment, Orcutt took his wacky take a step further, as reported by The Raw Story:

Reached for comment, Orcutt told Seattle Bike Blog that “you would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” although he admitted to having no evidence to back the claim.

Why do people like this make such tin-foil-hat claims? Don’t they know about the news media and the Internet and really important stuff like say … science and facts?

The article moved on to cite comparisons with auto emissions. Okay that’s fine. But why not ask Orcutt if he realizes what he is really suggesting. If our collective act of breathing – and even exercising – adds to pollution, then the more people, the more pollution. If Orcutt thinks he’s right, then he should be pushing for strategies to reduce human population growth.

But what comes out of the tailpipe of a car is far more than what we discharge naturally with breathing – at least for most of us.

But I compare this with some local news stories in my home state a few years back that blamed wildlife for pollution in local waterways. So we drain off millions of acres of wetlands and mow down wildlife habitat and pave paradise and some people want to blame the wildlife for going to the bathroom.

What are they supposed to do, find portable toilets to use?


Climate change debate needs to expand

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Finally, near the end of the 2012 Presidential campaign, the issue of climate change was discussed in the media. Hurricane Sandy forced it into the news cycle, along with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of President Obama.

I have to once again note that we need more discussion about the causes. The debate too often is consumed by temperature. We are polluting the atmosphere and no one should support polluting the air we put into our lungs or the protective layers that serve as our planet’s lungs – so to speak.

The political phrase is – ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ And we can add to that now – ‘It’s the pollution, stupid.’ We’ve got to raise the threat level on the chart for pollution – for our air, land and water. We’ve got to get more serious about reducing pollution – period.

The climate-change deniers love debating the temperature. They’re on the wrong side, but it doesn’t seem to matter to them. But pollution is not up for debate. It’s happening and if you put it in their backyard, the very people who deny climate change will scream at the top of their chemical-damaged lungs about their backyards.

It’s the pollution, stupid.

Birds ingesting alarming amount of plastic along west-coast shorelines

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The Canadian Press is reporting on a story that highlights the horrible rate at which irresponsible people are polluting the Earth’s oceans. Necropsies of deceased birds are finding their stomachs are full of pieces of plastic.

Once again, as is the case with the extreme level of homelessness in cats and dogs, irresponsible people are to blame.

The Canadian Press story reports bellyfuls of plastic were found in 93 percent of the necropsies performed on 67 beached seabirds from the coasts of B.C., Washington and Oregon, between October 2009 and April 2010. One bird had 454 pieces of plastic in its stomach.

I wonder how far beyond the upper-west coach this problem exists.

When irresponsible people toss their trash into rivers and streams and tidal creeks and along shorelines, this is the end result. It’s sad to consider what these people are doing to our planet – one irresponsible person at a time – all around the globe.

Fracking chemicals found in aquifer in drilling region of Wyoming

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Surprise – Surprise – Fracking chemicals have been detected, in a big way, in the aquifer for the town of Pavillion, Wyo.

But wait. The TV ads (propaganda) out of Exxon claim it’s all safe and wonderful to drill for natural gas. The drilling sites are contained and there’s no way the groundwater is polluted by drilling. Right?

Really – No. And if you believe the Big Oil propaganda, I’m sure the town of Pavillion will sell you bottled drinking groundwater by the truckload. Go ahead – Buy some and drink it down with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

From the ProPublica story

“” “”

(The residents claim) hydraulic fracturing in particular — has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment, loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.

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Jobs, yes – but at what cost?

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Big Oil and Big Coal have taken to spreading some really expensive and extensive propaganda that translates to – ‘let us pollute, destroy nature and wipe out wildlife populations as we see fit, because we supply jobs.’

We need the jobs and certainly the country needs far more jobs. But why can’t our great country, at this time of fantastic technological advancements, turn more to clean jobs? Why does it have to be this false choice, where job creation is presented to the public like a hostage inside a bank robbery. (Imagery comparison intended)

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The EPA serves a vital role in protecting humans and animals

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The Environmental Protection Agency was founded in 1970, under a proposal from President Richard Nixon. In the past, the EPA has garnered support from all around the political spectrum.

But of late, we’ve seen a handful of politicians suggesting the EPA should lose much of its regulatory bite. At least one has suggested a moratorium on regulations.

These individuals fail to understand the implications of stifling the work of the EPA or dismantling regulations that protect the environment and wildlife habitat. No doubt, as is the case for many governmental agencies, the EPA could probably stand some efficiency improvements. But its regulations, for the most part, are extremely important.

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Video Trailer: “The Last Mountain”

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The Appalachian Mountains are being literally blown up to get to the coal under the surface. An important documentary film brings to light the horrible practice of mountaintop mining – “The Last Mountain.”

Robert Kennedy, Jr. has joined in the effort to try to stop the coal companies from destroying the environment, along with the communities around these mountains. The public health, the region’s wildlife, the water and the future are all a stake.

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